WILLOW SPRING, N.C. (WNCN) — The sun has barely risen, the morning dew still clings to the grass. A Storm is building in southern Wake County. The Willow Spring High School Storm, that is.
“This is a great community here, we are super excited to be involved in the Willow Springs community and get things going here,” said Willow Spring High School head football coach Jason Wilkes.
And nothing brings a community together quite like football. The Storm will hit the gridiron for the first time this season, albeit with a junior varsity team. Some 30 freshmen and sophomore pioneers are ready to leave their mark on this fledgling program.
“You’re starting from a blank slate,” Wilkes explained. “So for us, our mantra is ‘Trust the Climb.’ We know there’s going to be some adversity and stuff to overcome but it’s just that daily process of getting better, incremental advances and wins and that’s what we’re trying to focus on each day.”
Most of these players grew up rooting for the Bengals of Fuquay Varina High School. In fact, students from that school are coming off a two-year stay at Willow Spring while their building was remodeled. Old traditions are nice, but, “Being the first fully graduating class at this school is really exciting,” said freshman lineman Sam Giancola. “It’s something I’ll be able to tell people and being the first Willow Spring High School football team is really exciting.”
There will be no postseason for this squad, no chance to hang a banner. But in reality, accolades and trophies will pale in comparison to what these young kids can accomplish.
“We’re just going to try to trust that process trust the climb of going through this phase of just being a JV program and laying that good foundation so that when we start to play varsity football we’re in a good position,” said Wilkes.
A foundation that will someday lead to tradition.
“Keep our heads up and work toward the four-year plan, we just got to keep playing and we’ll get there someday,” said Giancola.